Sunday, August 30, 2009

Football Season IV

It has all begun again. The sweat. The practices. The smell of week-old practice uniforms.... blech.

Matt's team kicked off the new football season with a Jamboree game on Tuesday, and Matt had a lot of playing time. He has a new number this year because he has a new position. Instead of tight-end, he is now a tackle. He was the only one who wore his black underarmor for this game,which was great for me. It made it lots easier to pick him out of the crowd.

There he is in the middle.

There were tons of action pictures to take.

About halfway through the game, Matt had a great moment. One of his teammates fumbled the ball, and Matt recovered it. Of course, during the most important shot of the game for me, my camera focused on the kid behind him and left Matt blurry. Here is falling on the fumbled ball, though.

And here he is getting tackled by the opposing team player who was going for it too.

Smoosh. (I am sure he loves it when I sum up his shining moments in manly one-word statements like "smoosh.)

I liked this shot. I took it right after the play was called and they were starting to unpile.

This was my favorite moment, though, because after he stood up he looked at me with that "Did you get pictures of that?" look, and this time I could say, "YES! I did!" Last year I missed getting shots of all his good moves.
There were some more plays made by all the kids and the game stayed pretty close.

Matt likes this shot the best.

In the end, Elkins made a last minute touchdown that gave them the game. This Friday is the first regular game of the season for the senior team. I probably won't get to be at this game, but even if I am not there in person I will be cheering them on. Go Red!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

There, I fixed it.

Maybe I shouldn't get as big a kick out of these sites as I do, but I can't help it. They are too funny! And this one kept Matt, Jack and I laughing for a long time last night!

There, I fixed it!

These are a couple of my first favorites.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Life Lessons

Dear Beth,

On Saturday you went with Jessica and Brandon on a bike ride. However, instead of riding Todd's bike, you pushed it along and ran next to it. When you got back from your bike "ride" you asked your dad to teach you to ride it. You did not want to wait for training wheels, or even your own bike. You had places to go and you were willing to make do with what was at hand.

Your daddy helped you sit on the bike. He talked to you about balancing. If you lean too far in one direction you topple over. He showed you how to use the handlebars to steer. There are potholes in our road you will need to know how to avoid. He taught you how to use the brakes. Sometimes you have to slow down to make it around an obstacle. Sometimes you just have to stop completely and go back to where you were or find a new path.

He stood behind you and kept his hand on the seat as you tested out the things he taught you. He helped you balance. He encouraged you to give it your best shot. He promised you he wouldn't let you fall down while he was in charge of keeping you upright.

And then you started pedaling away, slowly at first. You gained momentum, and you hollered out, "Don't let go, Daddy!" and he told you he was right there with you.

Then you came to a point where you didn't need his protective hand to keep you going, even though you didn't know it yourself yet. He ran along behind you and guided you and called out encouragement, and then he did what all daddies have to do at some point. He gave you the guidance and knowledge you needed, and then... he let go and let you do it on your own. He knew you might crash. He knew you would probably hit a pot hole. He knew you might look back and get nervous, but he let you go so you could learn how to ride.

A few moments later you realized you were doing it all on your own... heading down that road using your own balancing skills and wobbling a bit here and there. You glanced back and noticed your daddy wasn't holding on, but was instead watching you carefully and cheering you on. Then you waivered a bit in your confidence, and the bike started wobbling, and your feet went down, and you thought you were crashing. That is when your dad jumped in to help slow you down, got you balanced again, and then sent you on your way.

That is, after all, that is what daddies were created to do.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's that time of year...

where the buses fire up their engines, the teachers gear up their lesson plans, and the students return to school. When it came time to round my kids up for the traditional first-day-of-school photos, Matt could not be found. He had tried to leave early to ride his bike to school, but Sammy couldn't stand to see him go and had followed him halfway there. Thanks to a loyal dog, my reluctant teenager returned home in time to be photographed.

The other kids got ready and gathered together willingly for group and individual shots.

There is something different about this school year. This year, we sent our baby off to Kindergarten. I don't have any babies, toddlers, or pre-schoolers at home anymore. It is the end of an era for us, and I am more than a little sad about it. Beth, however, couldn't wait to leave her sentimental mom behind and race forward into her education.

Her daddy and brothers escorted her to her classroom, and after she met her teacher we took her to have breakfast and dropped the boys off at their rooms along their way.

Kyle, bless his sweet, tender heart, did not want to go to school again this year. He loves school, but he hates leaving us. He wants to spend all day with his dad fixing things and being mechanical. Fortunately, he made it through the day without any 911 calls home or to my office, and has already gotten over his initial trepidation.

Todd hopped right into class, found his seat, and climbed on in backwards, thus the straddled look he is sporting here in his chair. There wasn't any reluctance on his part to go to school. This boy flies into every experience with arms wide open.

We finally got Beth and her supplies tucked into her classroom, and then I sadly bade her goodbye. I still haven't recovered from leaving her there. I was ready at noon to go pick her up, but Jack wouldn't let me. He took me to lunch instead, and I must admit that was fun, but I was still extremely relieved when I saw her bouncing off the bus that afternoon and flying into my arms!

There are lots of things Beth likes about Kindergarten so far. However, the best part, in her eyes, is that the school has............................. are you ready for it???? ............................


Have a good year, my small and tall peoples. I love you all!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Simple Saturday

I took Chet and the girls down to Memphis on Thursday, so I will be updating Chet's blog in just a minute.

On Saturday, Crystal (married to Nathan) came over to scrapbook, but we ended up cleaning out my freezer and fridge instead. It wasn't supposed to work out that way, but I ended up scrubbing and cleaning the whole kitchen and got all of my downstairs deep cleaned. It was the first Saturday I have been able to spend at home in a long time, so I don't know what possessed me to spend it cleaning! Perhaps Crystal and my other scrapping friends will come back soon while everything is still sparkly and we can really scrap!

Jessica, Daniel and Brandon came over for dinner last night. Daniel rode on his grampa's shoulders to go watch the boys play Trampoline Dodgeball and then to visit McClacken.

Zachary has been here visiting Matt this week, and he has enjoyed getting to know McClacken.

McClacken has enjoyed chewing on Zachary.

Daniel watched his Uncle Todd and Uncle Kyle playing Trampoline Dodgeball. They played a gentler version than the older boys did.

Daniel also supervised his Uncle Matt and Tyler playing. This was a game we watched from a further distance to avoid being hit by flying volleyballs.

Then we shooed everyone off the tramp and gave him a turn, only he didn't actually play the dodgeball part. He really did like trying to walk on the tramp, though.

Soon afterwards, Sammy discovered that the trampoline was full of all the boys he adores so much, so he jumped up there to get there attention. Everyone needs a little love sometimes.

We have had a full-house this weekend, but it was nice. Now we are all cozied in the living room and watching movies, and I am trying to mentally prepare to return to work and our regularly scheduled weekdays tomorrow. I did get one layout scrapped this weekend while we were at St. Jude, though, so I will share that with you before I sign off again. (I will fix my typo before I print it.)